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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 17, 2009 1:00pm-1:30pm EDT

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voting rights of all americans. if you look at just the numbers, the number of -- even though we made great progress in this nation, the number of case that is are brought under that section have not dwindled. the fact that congress unanimously three years ago, two years ago re-authorized the act i think is a recognition on the part of congress the need exists. we argued i think very strongly for the continued validity, viability of that section and it is our hope that the court will agree. we will see what the supreme court opinion is and then how we have to react to it. .
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statement and response to questioning. and then lastly i just want to make sure i put on the record the legal services and pro bono. i mention them freedom frequently and i don't want this hearing to do without a strong effort to make sure that
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the department of justice is the leader in access to our legal services by all of the people of this nation. i think the attorney general and the department justice can play a very important role. >> agree with thament which talked about this during my visit with you, the confirmation process and the concerns you raised at that point i think are extremely legitimate ones of the i think the attorney general has to take a leadership role in this in the way that president clinton did and attorney general reno did, lawyers for america project that i had a role in in effectuating. i think your concerns are very serious once and once that we'll try to work with you on. >> we thank you for that and the been very refreshing to hear from the attorney general here today in such candid responses to our questions. i think you have resupported the confidence in the american people -- restored the confidence in the america people -- american people of the department of justice being
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there and we look forward to continuing to work in a very constructive way. as we work with difficult challenges, either how we deal with detainees at guantanamo bay or the surveillance of this country. we won't always agree but i think it's important that we have these candid discussions and we thank you very much for your attendance here today. the chair-mass -- the chairman has indicated the record will stay open with that the committee will stand adjourned. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. attorney general, with all due respect, where is the accountability for the crimes of the past administration? where is the accountability for the millions of people in this country -- we petition, we tell them in email, we have petitioned again and again. where is the accountability? there are millions of people in this country who are demanding
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accountability for the crimes of the bush administration. we demand accountability, mr. attorney general, with all due respect, there are people in this country who lived through the eight years of the bush administration. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp 2009] >> the house gaveled out subject to the call of the chair. they will be spending their day on the commerce and justice department spending bill for fiscal year 2010. we'll have live coverage when they gavel back in. just a quick note, too, about programming. president obama at this hour speaking on financial market regulatory reforms, introducing some of those reforms now at the white house. you can watch it on c-span 3 and also online at and we plan to show it to you here ahead of the house coming
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back in if we are able. we'll show all of the president's comments upcoming in our schedule on c-span, here on c-span and of course on the c-span networks and again you can watch it online as well at but the u.s. house waiting for them to come back in to resume debate on the 2010 spending bill for the departments of commerce and justice asle as science programs. we spoke earlier to a capitol hill reporter about that bill. republicans arguing about over this commerce, justice and science spending bill? >> well, the not really about the substance of the bill but rather how the process is going to unfold for appropriations bills and how many amendments are going to be allowed and when they can be offered. >> the majority leader yesterday was quoted as saying he wants to proceed in a fashion that is reasonable, that provides opportunities for amendments. republicans don't see eye-to-eye with that?
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>> well, this started because the democrats had a requirement that all amendments be submitted in advance which usually isn't the case on appropriations bills. usually you're you a loyed to -- allowed to introduce them as you wish. republicans responded with a flood of amendments, some 127, on this bill and democrats said, look, if we have that volume of amendments there's no way we're going to get done with these spending bills by the end of july as hoped. >> so, for today, for today's action and debate over amendments, what are we likely to see in terms of the number of amendments? >> what happened last night is the democrats went back and created a new rule limiting the number of amendments so instead of 127 there would be a limit of 44 amendments which is still a substantial volume. not all of those are necessarily going to be taken up and debated but republicans are clearly angry about the process here. >> well, this is the first of the 12 appropriations bills
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that have to come through the house floor. what does this say about the process for the remaining bills to get done this year? >> well, it certainly doesn't bode well as far as the level of cooperation. republicans are unhappy. they feel they're getting excluded from the process and so you're likely to see conflict down the road and it might be difficult to get all the spending bills done in the time frame democrats want. >> you mentioned that this isn't a disagreement over issues, the a disagreement over the process, over the amendments. what are some of the issues likely to be of some concern in the debate on this bill? >> well, the amendments, some of them, are about earmarks, some of them are about shifting spending, some are about substantive issues, republicans want to not allow democrats to use any of this money to close down the u.s. detention facility at guantanamo bay. the underlying bill, there's not a lot of controversy, disagreement. there is some difference of
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opinion about spending for nasa, for space democrat. democrats are waiting, members of conference, excuse me, are waiting a report on space flight later this year. so that's really the only substantive issue. >> and in terms of the dollar figure, how is this compared to last year and how's it compared to what the president wants? >> this is about 12% above last year, somewhat comparable to what the president requested. >> seth stern of "congressional quarterly" thank you for being with us. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp 2009] >> the house came in at 10:00, gaveled out subject to the call of the chair. our congressional producer tells us that the government printing office was unable to print the rule for the bill last night which house lawmakers need to read before beginning the legislative business today. we'll have live coverage once
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they do gavel back in here on c-span. another news on capitol hill today, nevada senator is resigning his g.o.p. leadership post after admitting an affair. that's from the associated press. here we're going to take to you house republicans earlier today they briefed reporters on their proposals for health care reform. >> good morning, everyone. republicans want to work with president obama and our democrat colleagues to make sure that all americans have access to high quality, affordable health insurance. i want to congratulate roy blunt and all of the members of the health care solutions working group that are here with us today. they have worked for months on making sure that we have a plan that will accomplish the goal
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that the president and democrats all agree on. and if you look at the plan that will be unveiled this morning, we take the current health care system and improve it to make it work better for all americans. provide easier access to health insurance for those who can't afford it, to make sure those with pre-existing conditions have access to affordable health insurance. and if you look at this plan, it really will ensure most americans, it really will -- insure most americans, it really will improve the quality of our health care system and maintain the innovation we have in our current system. we all understand that we've gotten the best health care system in the world and 90% of the world's innovation in health care comes from the united states. and as we proceed down this path, we have to be very careful that we don't do anything that will impede the kind of quality and innovation that we have in our current system. and we believe that our plan is a big improvement on the
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current system that will cost far less than what the administration is proposing. if you look at their plan, it really is a big government-run plan that will take control of the delivery of health care in america. i don't think that's what most americans want. families and small businesses are looking for access, let's work on that problem and improve the current system so it works better. this is a serious proposal. we're hopeful that president obama and our democrat colleagues will take our ideas seriously and use them as they begin to develop their program. but everything that we've seen thus far, what was the stimulus bill, what is the omnibus appropriation bill, they've ignored our better solutions. but we're going to continue to offer better solutions as i promised on the opening day when the gave the gavel to nancy pelosi. when we found ourselves in the position to having to say no, having to be in opposition to
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what the president or our democrat colleagues wanted it to propose, it was our obligation to come up with what we thought was the better solution. this in our opinion clearly is the better solution for american families and small businesses who want better access to health care. >> thank you, leader, good morning. i, too, want to recognize roy blunt and his leadership and the health care solutions working group to come up with a republican plan. you know, health care in america is about choice. at its core it's about american families having the ability to choose the health care that best meets their need and as we saw this week, the congressional budget office said that the democrat plan will cost at a minimum $1 trillion in order to implement. but that plan clearly misses the mark at many levels. first of all, we come to find out that maybe 1/3 of the current uninsured are going to
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be covered at the expense of $1 trillion. as broken down on an individual basis, that is well over $6,500 per person to insure when we know right now the average cost per individual in the private plans today is less than $5,000. clearly government plan is not the answer. so our republican plan is sorely needed. we've got to come to a consensus on how we implement health care reform in a reasonable fashion that is responsible in terms of taxpayer expenditures and delivers on what the american people want which is choice in their health care. so we do that starting with the premise that people ought to be able to keep the health care they've got if they want it. that is the essence of the choice that we're talking about. and once we establish that tenant we then go and say, look, part of why this whole discussion has become so
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important is that the cost in this it country have just come out of control and have led to increasing numbers of uninsured americans. so how is it that we're going to afford the uninsured access to affordable coverage? the tenant that we're operating on and our plan is based around is we want to provide access to a basic plan for all americans and to coverage in terms of a basic plan. we do so by making sure we keep down costs and incorporate the ability for folks to pull together, to access lower cost, to bring private sector into the game and keep go out -- government out. so i applaud the efforts that have resulted in the plan today. i looked for to working with president obama, speaker pelosi, to make sure that we do arriving at a consensus so we can have some health care reform in this country.
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>> thank you. we have had a hardworking group and that group continues to work to be part of this debate and part of the solution, the health care solutions group hopes to be just exactly that. and republicans in the house are for a health care plan that's more affordable, that everyone has access to regardless of any pre-existing condition they had with a renewed focus on quality and the doctor-patient relationship. democrats know that americans who have health care coverage now generally like it and that's why they say if you like what you have, you can keep it. we believe and everybody analyzing that future marketplace seems to believe that if there's a government competitor, you will not be able to keep what you have. because if there's a government competitor, the government will never compete fairly and before you know it there are no competitors. so what you had is no longer available for you to have. in fact, we'd add a calve yot to that, if you like what you have, you can keep it but even
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you should have more choices than you have today, even if you like what you have. more of a marketplace, more access to individual decision making in health care, one of those decisions might very well be, i'm pleased to continue to have the benefit of the insurance i get from my company or it might be i want to take the tax benefit and go out and have the same kind of benefit with a plan that better fits the needs of my family. or myself. and we're going to see -- we're going it to do everything we can to do that. there are ways to get uninsure people on the insurance rolls without having a $1 trillion price tag and we'll be talking about those. there are ways to make medicaid more efficient and also ways to be sure that everybody who has access to medicaid knows they have access to medicaid and gets on the medicaid system or the schip system, many of the uninsured today actually qualify for existing programs. 10 million of the uninsured today have insurance available to them at work and so among
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other things we think employees should have to opt out aggressively of choosing their insurance at work as opposed to aggressively having to opt in. there are things like that that can make a big difference in the system in a hurry and on that groundwork that government will never compete fairly, i mean, look what's happening right now in the auto industry. the government-run, general motors with gmac, financing for cars is close to 0%. ford motor credit the quite a bit above 0%. for those say this is another competitor in the field and it won't make any difference, it just makes competition bigger, that's not -- there's no fact ever that bears that out. the government will not compete fairly. we believe there's a big marketplace beyond today's marketplace that we can help create and our members are going to come up and talk about that. mr. kemp from ways and means, mr. barton from energy and
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commerce, mr. mckeon from the workforce committee, generally brown-waite and charles boustany are going to come and talk about elements of the plan. we'll be working with the grafting -- drafting folks on and hopefully have -- while we're almost always last in line with the resources available in the congress these days, we're going to be working hard now to bring these concepts into legislative language as quickly as we can. mr. kemp. >> thank you, roy. dave camp from michigan. thank you for your leadership on the solutions group. i want to thank leader boehner and whip eric cantor for their leadership on this issue, as well as all my colleague here and those who aren't here to really make it possible for us to come forward with an american solution to health care. the president said this should have a uniquely american solution. we have an american plan. one that we believe has been said will really focus on affordability, accessibility and availability.
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and the question is, how do we do that? we think that it's very important that there be a robust waste, fraud and abuse oversight of health care. not only in the government programs of medicare and medicaid, but clearly the due policity that we find in our health care system, we think there should be strong oversight that that will be part of our plan as we move forward. obviously you really can't have a serious discussion about health care reform unless you agree to address the issue of liability reform, defensive medicine, medicine malpractice. we also believe that should be an important part of health care moving forward. the president has just begun, it's really the first statement we've heard on in a that issue in his speech at the a.m.a. we think that's essential to do. and clearly we also think that people who are at low and modest incomes had, who don't qualify for medicaid, should get some help with buying insurance and also those at or near retirement, between the ages of 55 and 64, should get
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some assistance with purchasing health you a insurance and then lastly there needs to be a very strong wellness provision. prevention is key to helping lower costs and obviously one of the goals with we have is trying to get the cost out of health care and prevention is critical. we've seen it works. there are a number of areas in the private sector where health care costs have actually gone down because employs -- employees have had incentives to actually meet healthy lifestyle criteria that we think are important in getting to the long-term costs of health care. so those are just some of the areas that this sumly focus on. obviously we've had our principles. this is our summary. we're working toward legislation with my colleagues in the congress and look forward to being -- offering -- offering a solution and being part of the bipartisan solution to health care and offering some good ideas to the debate. thank you. congressman barton. >> well, thank you.
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republicans believe that if you need health care, you go see your doctor or nurse, don't examine go see a government bureaucrat. our basic premises that we want to work within the existing market structure, we don't want to create new federal bureaucracies, new federal mandates, that only cause more problems. so the energy and commerce committee will begin to meet next week, chairman waxman has said he's going to have three hearings on health care next week. we'll be engaged in those. and if and when the democrats decide to go to marketup, we will have -- markup, we will have republican amendments and a republican alternative as part of the comprehensive package that's being talked about today. as has already been said, we believe that we need to reform medicaid, we need to reform schip, we believe that we should give people the right, the option, if they want to take the amount that we pay for medicaid and schip and get a private plan we would give them
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the premium assistance to do that. we believe we need to take appreciate off of medicaid by creating incentives for long-term health care so we have got some proposals that will do that. we believe people that work for small businesses that don't provide health care should be able to form associations and pooling arrangements either within like businesses, like associations, we even believe that states should be able to form regional pools across state lines so that people that work in areas that don't have health care provided for their business can be a part of a pool. we think that the federal government should provide premium assistance for those individuals. we believe in a refundable tax credit that will be under the jurisdiction of mr. camp in the ways and means committee. we believe that individuals can make the informed choices if we have health care transparency. so we'll have proposals that provide more transparency in
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the marketplace. we believe that doctors should be reimbursed adequately for their services so we'll have a proposal that fixes the physician reimbursement problem. we're not sure yet if that's going to be a two ye to three year fix or a permanent fix and that will defend on the funds that are available once we -- that will depend on the funds that are available once we decide how much everything will cost. we're prepared to be you engaged in the process. mr. blunt has done an excellent job of the solutions group and leader boehner has been personally involved in making sure that when the time comes we'll have an alternative both legislatively at each of the committees and jurisdiction an hopefully if the democrats mean what they say we'll have a bipartisan solution. we have no problem with president obama's principles. the big difference is we believe in a market private
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sector approach. we have a food safety markup going on right now in the energy and commerce committee so i'm going to excuse myself to go petition participate in that markup. >> when leader boehner and whip cantor asked roy blunt to pull this working solutions group together, we agreed to build on works and fix what's broken. we said the serious health care reform plan needs to let americans who like their health care coverage keep it. and we need to protect americans from being forced into a new government-run health care plan that will eliminate health coverage that 120 million americans currently receive through their job. this is a major contrast with the democrat plan which c.b.o. tells us will shift millions of americans out of their existing , often employer-sponsored, health care. by and large, our employer-based health care system is a success and most employees are happy with the health coverage they receive. my hope is throughout this process because of my role on
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the education and labor committee has been to develop on the success of the employer-based coverage. there are commonsense ways to expand employer-provided coverage and reduce the number of uninsured. for example, small business health plans make coverage more affordable for small businesses and their workers. i want to thank leader boehner, whip cantor and roy blunt for the great job they've diop and all those who worked on this to make a sensible program for americans, that they will enjoy as we move forward. >> i am from florida and guess what? i have the highest number of people on medicare. and every day 8,000 additional people are going on medicare as they turn 65. medicare is having severe financial problems. the other day when the president spoke before the a.m.a. there were points where he obviously was not very well received. well, let me tell you, the
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doctors in my district in districts around america, aren't booing, but they are informing their parents -- patients, both medicare and nonmedicare patients, about the dangers of the obama health plan and what the democrats are proposing. people want to have access and they certainly want affordability. one of the reasons why i'm very excited about the plan, i also have a large number of people who are 55 to 64 who moved to florida as to many districts, and they then start to have some health problems. this offers them availability and affordability. so they won't be -- having to wait until they are 65 to get medicare. there's additional fixes in the bill that will increase funding and availability of federally-qualified health centers which are a great resource in the majority of districts that offer very low
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cost health care insurance. the part of the solution. >> house republicans from earlier today. we're leaving this recorded program and taking you live to the u.s. house as they resume deliberation this afternoon of the $65 million fiscal year 2010 spending bill for commerce, justice and science programs. ms. sanchez: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to commend my fellow democratic colleagues for their commitment, their commitment to reforming the health care system with the goal of reducing costs and improving access to quality health care for all americans. health care premiums are increasing at an alarming rate. in fact in the last 10 years they have doubled. and currently over $1,000 of the average american family's annual health care premium goes to support uninsured americans. and still we have over 46 million americans who don't have access to health care and 20% of
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them are children. i believe that we must work creatively to build on the best of what works in the current system while fostering competition among private plans and providing patients with quality choices. we can and we must ensure that all americans have affordable and quality health care and i urge all my colleagues to work together towards this goal. i yield back, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. thompson: request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: madam speaker, i rise today to congratulate the lady eagles in pennsylvania. for winning the state championship softball title on friday, june 12. it was the pennsylvania interscholastic athletic association's class double-a title game against the brandywine heights school district and both are
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outstanding teams. led by the teacher they won by a score of 2-0 against the lady bullets in a match where they had a better record with 27 wins and no losses. the eagles' record was 23 wins and three losses. this is a story about heart and determination after the lady eagles lost last year in the state finals. they won two years out of four and are fierce competitors. scoring runs were by brook kleinfelder and at thiser lore parsons. one bunted in the second and gave a base hit. the coach can be justifiably proud of these high school girls and the hard work that got them into the finals and made them state champions. great job, lady eagles. madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: madam speaker, with the banner cry they never found a tax they didn't like, the tax-a-


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